“Because of the service by which you proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ and for you generosity in sharing it with them and with everyone else.” 2 Corinthians 9:13
Where is spring in the Prairies?? On my recent partnership development trip out east, I came across snow almost every day… in the middle to the end of April. I’m thinking that perhaps spring is a forgotten season in some parts of Canada.
My trip went very well (for the most part) and I thank each of you for your prayers & encouragement. It was a wonderful time of connecting with many people who I served with in Japan over the years, as well as seeing one of my cousins that I hadn’t seen in over 30 years! Praise the Lord for the special memories I was able to make.
In Calgary, I was able to have a lovely dinner & evening with Laurence & Leona Hiebert. They, and their family, are all well and enjoying life (as we all should be). We shared memories about Toyota East Christ Church and prayed together. From Calgary it was onto Three Hills, driving in the snow and sometimes slippery sections. But the Lord kept the roads clear all the way and the snow stopped shortly outside Irricana. Twenty minutes after checking into the motel, the snow started again and blew for the next 4-5 hours. My car looked so frozen when I went to leave the next morning.
While in Three Hills I had a wonderful dinner and game of scrabble with Rae Rempel. We watched the storm rage on outside and when the snow eased up a bit, I headed back to the hotel. God is so good and took care of me throughout this trip, especially on the snowy roads. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
As I headed over to Saskatchewan, I stopped in Saskatoon to spend some time with Arnold & Helena Stobbe. They are such strong prayer warriors and I appreciate Arnold’s calling of being an encourager. I receive Bible verses almost every month from him, and they always brighten my day. They shared with me some of their life story and it was great to reconnect with them. Please pray for this amazing couple and that they will continue to be a blessing to so many workers in the field, as well as in their community.
“And prayer in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18
After a short drive up to Warman from Saskatoon, I had the pleasure of staying the first of two nights with Logan & Heidi Foth and their 2 children (Gabe & Poppy). It was a time of relaxing and sharing stories of when they served at Osaka Bible Church and all the connections we have in Japan. Such a joy to reminisce with them and getting to know the children on a more personal level. Gabe loved when “the Claw” came out to tickle him (my hand formed into a claw shape…lol). Early the next morning he was hoping the Claw would play some more before ‘it’ had to leave. So much fun!!
On April 21st I was off to Regina where I stayed with 2 amazing couples over the next 5 nights… Ron & Betty Russell and Allen & Marilyn Bien. We all served in Japan at the same time, although the Russells have returned a couple of times over the years to cover classes for Doris Goertz when she returned to Canada for MINA. These couples are a part of our Friday night MHOP prayer group, along with Garry & Rita Mae Braun. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to meet the Brauns in person and for all of us to be joined by Cory & Masami Giesbrecht, who are home on MINA.
Sharing at Parliament Community Church on April 24th, was a beautiful experience. Many thanks to Vicki Clarke for inciting me to come and share on their missions Sunday. Hope Dalke interviewed me and it was a fun way to interact with the church. After this, Cory & Masami shared about their ministry in Osaka, and then Cory shared a message about the Harvest of Thanksgiving. Please continue to pray for the Giesbrechts as they visit several more churches over the next couple of months.
On Sunday evening, Cory, Masami, & I had an opportunity to share with the young adults. I also showed them how to make ‘onegiri’, a popular rice ball snack in Japan. It was a special experience having these young adults pray over the 3 of us at the end of our evening.
On Monday afternoon, Marilyn, Betty, and I helped Yoriko and her husband Brandon, prepare a Japanese meal for the missions council members and Pastor Mike. It was a lot of work, but filled with much laughter and many blessings. It was during this weekend, and after another snow storm in Winnipeg, that I made the decision not the head further east. I think it was the best decision for me to return back to BC at this time.
Thankfully, I was able to chat on the phone with some people I had hoped to visit in Winnipeg and they were very understanding.
On the way back to Abbotsford, I had the pleasure of being hosted by John and Ingrid Friesen in Kelowna. They had visited Japan in 2014 and we looked at photos from that time, sharing memories and trying to remember everyone’s names! This trip was definitely a success, and even though I did not raise all of the support needed to return to Japan in June, spending time with all of these amazing people was worth more than I could imagine!
One fun fact that Hope asked me about on the Sunday morning sharing time, was the fact that I like dinosaurs and had actually helped to clean some of the bones of “Scotty” the T-Rex, who is on display at the Saskatchewan Museum of History in Regina. It was great to ‘see’ him again.
I praise the Lord for new supporters and for an amazing partnership development trip, but I am still in need of around $ to meet all my budget requirements. Please pray for the balance of my support to come in before the end of May. Praise the Lord for safety and good health on my trip and for seeing so many people who all have a heart for or have served in Japan. Praise the Lord for many people who opened their homes and hosted me so graciously. I am very grateful to all of you!